SHOW TIME: We were thrilled by the big Accessorie Circuit and AccessoriesTheShow exhibitions that ran to rave reviews in New York City in mid-May, proving that while price consciousness may be high, there is still a lot of business out there for those who know the value of fashion and trends.
One accessories executive noted that his business was up 20 percent over last year, and credited the jump on making the right product choices. “Our jewelry ranges from $10 wholesale to $300,” he declared, and “at that that level, the business is on fire.” Nothing, it seems, is keeping customers from buying hot trendy items that cleverly catch their attention. What are the “hooks?” Great design. Knock-‘em-dead color. And a look that is new, different, and classy.
NOT TO BE MISSED: Mark these down as fabulous trend setters from the Accessorie Circuit Show:
- Clutch bags, big, small, and in-between, all in brightly defined colors such as sizzling yellow, Hilfiger orange and brilliant blue. Look for them in croc, patent leather, and silk. Gorgeous and functional!
- Real-to-life posie pins, like Alexis Bittar’s sexy orchids with insects, done in Lucite acrylic and metal. Daisies are big, too, but then so are all florals. Some are so big, they become graphically surreal.
- Signature rings in aquamarine, amethyst, and citrine, wildly oversized but still real looking,
- The color purple! Wow! This is an accessory winner NOW!
- Silver. Silver, Silver. Done in interesting ways, like resin and silver bracelets and silver-plated brass ball necklaces. You just can’t go wrong with this metal!
- Lucite bangles (nothing gets much hotter!), clear and colorful, modern and sleek. What could be better for summer wear? Even your most sophisticated buyers will love them.
RETRO BOMB SHELLS: Look for costume jewelry pieces referencing the thirties and forties,” says designer Alexis Bittar. That was a thriving period for both costume and fine jewelry, despite the depression and the war. Major designs included charm and link bracelets and bangles, and very ladylike brooches. Themes were strongly nature-oriented, including fish and floral styles. Chinese influences were also important. Expect to see plenty of these themes in summer and fall accessories.
WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY: Handbag hotshot Sondra Roberts sees sales success leaning heavily on novelty items and diversified prices. And Tesa Totengco of accessories company Rafe agrees, noting that novel items in a wide variety of colors are selling like hotcakes. Think about some really scorching colors, too (like wild violets and yellows that are breaking sales records). But don’t leave out softer hues, such as heather greys, which make a nice alternative to black. If your customers go for these hip colors, think about stocking up on some of the newest, elaborate neck pieces in bright colors. They can transform an outfit!
GREEN PLANET: There is a strong eco-trend picking up momentum around the country, and you can make good business use of it! Your customers are sure to love eco-friendly canvas totes for carrying their everythings, including supermarket fare. Don’t worry about the price level, totes are selling from a dollar to thousands of dollars, they are that popular. Really inexpensive totes are the hot new wave for grocery shopping. So bye-bye paper and plastic waste: these green fabric totes are picking up real status!
HAIR NOW: Hair accessories are revving up sales momentum at Colette Malouf, Susan Daniels and Joomi NYC. Look for herringbone hair clips and crystallized headbands to hit high popularity ratings this summer. You can also put your money on headbands of bright color, often used two at a time.
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We add our condolences to those of the rest of the world as France bids a fond farewell to one of the Century’s greatest designers, Yves Saint Laurent, who died in Paris last week at the age of 71. He was eulogized as elegant, well-mannered, cultured, and gentle. “He changed the face of fashion and made a mark on the world that can never be forgotten.”